Saturday, April 08, 2006

It's Been a While!

It's a new term, and I'm teaching a totally different class. Traditionally, we call it Novel/Film, but this term it's really Drama/Film. What we are reading is a play, The Miracle Worker, by William Gibson. Then we watch the movie version, not the newer Disney creation, but the classic, black-and-white Academy Award winner, with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke.

I love it, so it's a good thing for me to teach. It was my idea to use this story, and I hope the students like it. They seem to. They are enthralled, as students always are, when I turn on the TV and play the movie--so that's good; I love to see that. They also keep up well with the reading so far and know what's going on in the story. I was so surprised at first at this! Wow, they did their homework! Wow, they understand it! Then I remembered that the levels I'm teaching this term are higher than last! My students this term are drawn, actually, from three levels: EAP1, AC, and GSE. So they are advanced, one foot in the university, almost.

Another difference this term is that my class is huge compared to last term; I have eighteen students. So I can't be as personal in my teaching as I could last term. But I enjoy it.

I missed the second week of class because I had to be out of town. I feel like the class is just beginning, but actually, next week is midterm, and I'm giving an exam. It's on Act I of The Miracle Worker, focusing heavily on vocabulary, with character IDs and a short essay that will allow them to express themselves a bit, let me know what they know and what they think.

I like to make tests, and I think this one is pretty good. I think everyone should be able to pass it if they study, and I think only the best students will get As.

After the test, we'll start Act II. I'm making this up as I go along, since this text and movie haven't been used before. I hope to continue to teach vocabulary but begin to put more stress on in-class reading (they all have parts now) and discussion. I want them to talk!


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